The running club at Grand Canyon University provides an opportunity for students to get together with other like-minded students who are looking to reach their running goals. It is a great outlet to reduce stress and promote fitness while juggling the demands of studying and social life.
Training consists of two types of workouts, endurance and speed. On Mondays and Wednesdays, our training is geared toward speed intervals on the track. Endurance is the focus on other days, varying from 5 to 10 miles, based on individual skill level. Sundays are rest days for this club. With this training philosophy, we prefer for student-athletes to be a few seconds slower and remain healthy as opposed to risking an injury.
Dr. Kimberly Sims is in her second season as the head running club coach for Grand Canyon University. Dr. Sims is no stranger to coaching at GCU after serving as head coach to a Division II men and women’s cross country program for six seasons (2007-2013) and as the assistant indoor and outdoor track and field coach for three seasons (2010-2013). The men’s track team claimed the 2012 Division II indoor track and field national championship during her tenure. Prior to working at GCU, Dr. Sims was an assistant cross country and track coach at Cactus High School in Glendale, Ariz.
As a student, Dr. Sims was a four-year varsity athlete in cross country and track while she attended Cactus (1984-1988). She attended Yavapai College for two cross country seasons (1988-1989). In 1988, her team was Arizona Community College Athletic Conference champion and finished first in regionals and 12th in nationals. Dr. Sims earned second team all-region honors in 1988. In 1989, her team repeated its ACCAC championship and first-place regional finish before taking 13th at nationals.
Dr. Sims transferred to Glendale Community College to participate in track (1990-1991). During this time, she earned accolades in the 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter races. In the 1990 nationals, she earned eighth for the 10,000-meter race. In 1991, she was invited to run the 5,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays and had the opportunity to run alongside Olympic athlete PattiSue Plumer.
Dr. Sims finished her collegiate cross country and track tenure at University of California–Irvine, a NCAA Division I program, in 1991-1992. She was coached by Vince O’Boyle, who was named Big West Coach of the Year in 1991, when her team won the Big West cross country championship.
Dr. Sims has a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in social science from GCU (1994), a post-baccalaureate teacher certification in special education, a Master of Education in special education from Arizona State (1996-2001) and a Doctor of Education in leadership and teacher innovation from ASU (2007-2010).
Dr. Sims has been a member of USA Track & Field since 2015 and is a competitive road racer. Her best recent half marathon time is 1 hour, 45 minutes and 18 seconds at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego in 2014.
Dr. Sims resides in north Phoenix with her fiancé, Jeff Weeldreyer; her son, Wyatt; and Weeldreyer’s two children, Jacob and Mikhaela.